IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 29

"The ability for the tables to be an open field for play is really,
really important," Jake Barton of Local Projects says. "It lets
you fully explore the edges of everything from a curved line
to a building that might be square, to a lamp that you might
design. That ability to just play with those shapes and objects
in the context of this larger, incredible design collection is both
a motivation for you as a designer, but also an opportunity
to understand the depth of your own abilities and how design
is actually created."
The tables, which were developed bespoke for the museum
by DS+R with Local Projects and industrial designers Ideum,
are all large enough to accommodate multiple users: the 84"
tables had the highest resolution screen to date, and were
considered a major breakthrough in tablet development. Yet
again, the design team was faced with the logistical challenge
of developing technologies in tandem. Because of manufacturing timelines, the team had to finalize the tables before
the design for the Pen was complete-meaning the two
technologies were not able to be tested together until after
the table glass was already in production. When the tables
finally arrived at the museum in October of 2014-two
months before the museum was set to open-the team found
that because of necessary modifications made to the Pen to
reduce the sensitivity of the antenna and increase battery life,
the tables' ability to read the pen's movements had been
severely degraded. Ideum and Sistelnetworks had to tweak
the firmware, eventually adding a sticker to the table's surface
to improve performance.
That the Cooper-Hewitt doesn't shy away in talking
about the challenges they faced in the development of these
technologies is indicative of the museum's reinvigorated
mission of transparency and access. They describe the
development of the Pen and the tables as embodying
"the very ideas that Cooper-Hewitt conveys to visitors. Like
so many of the objects in the museum's galleries [these objects
are] the product of a collaborative, international industrial
design process, exemplifying how designers solve
real-world problems."

"We 3-D scanned the Mansion inside and out last summer,"
Baumann says. "Now, you can download your very own copy."
And, assuming you have access to one enormous 3-D printer,
print it out, a la the recent 5-story apartment building printed
this past January in Jiangsu, China.
The museum has its own 3D printer, a ProJet 6000, and down
the road it seems utterly likely that this could sync with a Lab
table, allowing visitors to print out replicas of the designed
objects they've seen or generated at the museum that day.
It would be yet another strong utilization of state-of-the-shelf
technology, a "design intervention" that could be easily
updated as new technology becomes available.
"The feeling that we had for years leading up to the opening
was now is the moment," Baumann says, adding that, even
though they've only been open a few months, they're already
thinking about the future. "We're asking ourselves, ok, what's
next? How are we going to iterate so we're always fresh
and new?"
The focus on "now" seems to be paying off, as the CooperHewitt has experienced record attendance and their highest
ever levels of membership since reopening. But they also seem
well equipped for the future. Baumann emphasizes that the
appeal to a broad and diverse audience, and the integration
of the historic with the technological were critical to making
the museum remain accessible to every generation.
"We're seeing the seven year old say to his parents, 'this is
the best museum'-but then you've also got the eighty-fiveyear-old creating things on the digital tables. So it's really
been a grand success."

"It's all about accessibility," Baumann says. In addition
to digitizing the entire collection, the museum is even giving
away the typeface developed for them by Pentagram
completely free-they're even willing to give away
the mansion.

"We're seeing the seven year old say to his parents, 'this is the best
museum'-but then you've also got the eighty-five-year-old creating things
on the digital tables. So it's really been a grand success."
PERSPECTIVE

29



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015

IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 201
Contents
From IIDA
Behind the Issue
Contributors
IIDA Roundtable
Designer Dialogue
Design Decoded
For Love of The Game
Designers Off Duty
Point / Counterpoint
Inspiration
Colophon
Design Buzz
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 201
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 1
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - From IIDA
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - Behind the Issue
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 7
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - Contributors
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 9
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - IIDA Roundtable
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 11
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 12
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 13
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 14
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 15
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - Designer Dialogue
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 17
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 18
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 19
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 20
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 21
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - Design Decoded
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 23
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 24
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 25
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 26
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 27
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 28
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 29
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - For Love of The Game
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 31
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 32
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 33
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 34
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 35
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 36
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 37
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 38
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 39
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - Designers Off Duty
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 41
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 42
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 43
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 44
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 45
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 46
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 47
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - Point / Counterpoint
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 49
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 50
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 51
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - Inspiration
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 53
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 54
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - Colophon
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - Design Buzz
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - Cover4
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